Disadvantages Of Herbal Medicine

Medicines made from various natural herbs have been popular from time immemorial with the native folks of many countries as an alternative form of treatment. Herbal or traditional medicines are made from various plants and plant extracts. Sometimes, fungal and bee products, minerals, shells and specific animal parts are also used in the preparation of herbal medicines. Many substances found in plants are useful in treating human ailments. Among them are aromatic substances, phenols and their oxygen-substituted derivatives like tannins. Secondary metabolites like alkaloids serve as defense mechanism against microorganisms and insects. Many herbs used by us while cooking have useful medicinal compounds.

Many people prefer herbal medications rather than the regular ones while treating various physical problems. From treating acne and prostate to treating insomnia and depression, the benefits of herbal medications have been immense. In many cases, medical science had backed the use of herbal medicine to treat specific conditions. However, like any other forms of treatment, herbal medicine also has quite a few disadvantages. Often, the trouble caused by some herbal medicine can boil down to the specific herb in question. In fact, many herbal remedies have proved themselves from time to time.

Any form of herbal medicine takes some time to act. One has to have immense patience while undergoing herbal treatment. Various ingredients go into the preparation of herbal medicine. One has to be sure that none of the ingredients would cause allergic reactions. Many herbal remedies have negative side effects. Most of these side effects take months to appear. Since governments do not regulate the industry of herbal medicine, there is no chance of any quality control during the manufacturing of the herbal supplements. It is absolutely necessary to find a renowned practitioner of herbal medicine.

Regular medicines are still the best bet during serious or sudden illness or injury. Herbal medicine cannot treat serious injuries like a broken leg. Nor can it heal appendicitis or heart attacks effectively as no diagnostic tests or surgery is involved in it. Often self-dosing of various herbs leads to serious risks among users. Though one can argue that such a thing can occur with regular medicines as well, it should be remembered that those packages have specific instructions regarding dosage. This is entirely absent with herbal medications. Herbs harvested in the wild are risky. Incorrect identification of the required herb can even lead to poisoning.

Herbal medications often interact with regular medicines. The herbs that are used to treat anxiety like Valerian and St. John's Wort can interact with antidepressants. It is best to consult one's doctor before going for any alternative treatment while on regular medicines. Sometimes, people start using herbal medications without checking what exactly is leading to the physical symptom they are suffering from. Regular medications may have been useful in such cases of wrong diagnosis.

The disadvantages of herbal medications depend on the user as well. People need to know what they are taking, what purpose would it serve and what would be the side effects of such a medication. It is essential to remember that though herbs are often effective they are not a panacea for all kinds of diseases.